Abu Dhabi Storms got their campaign in the inaugural Arab Clubs Championships off to a winning start.
They outplayed Pharaohs of Egypt 6-0 after Team Lebanon crushed Alger Corsaires of Algeria 16-3 in the opening games in the five-day competition at the Abu Dhabi Ice Rink on Tuesday.
The Storms opened the scoring through Artsiom Karkotski in the fifth minute and Vitali Savko doubled it eight minutes later. Mikhail Klimin scored twice in quick succession and Artur Zainutdinov added the fifth towards the end of the first period.
The home side were held scoreless in the second period and managed to add the sixth through Zainutdinov in the third and final period.
Juma Al Dhaheri, the Storms captain, said the result was important for a first game.
It always nice to start with a win regardless how we played, he said. Now, well try to take this momentum forward.
We got off to a good opening period and having set a good platform, we provided more Emirati players the opportunity. That's one of our strategies of the team.
The five-team competition played in a league format have drawn teams from Lebanon, Algeria, Egypt, Tunisia and host Storms.
The visiting teams comprise mainly of expatriate players from established ice hockey playing nations and it should be a good experience for us, particularly the Emirati players, added Al Dhaheri.
Hamad Al Qubaisi, vice president of the UAE Ice Sports Federation, said the event was another step forward to develop and popularise the sport in the region.
We have had a few clubs in the region playing in one-off competition every now and then but now we want to revive it with a high-profile competition, said Al Qubaisi.
We hope this tournament will be an annual one in our calendar of events and a platform further develop the sport not only in the UAE but in the Arab countries.